Swetha Menon, actor and former Miss-India second runner-up in 1994, delivered a girl child in the maternity ward of Nanavati Hospital in Mumbai in front of three cameras on on September 27th. As a part of shooting of the movie ‘Kalimannu’, her delivery was shot live on the camera. ‘Kalimannu’ is directed by Blessy and is tells the story about emotional bond shared by a mother and her fetus during her pregnancy period. Various stages of pregnancy are highlighted in the film. Biju Menon plays the male lead character in the film.
Now Shweta Menon’s Childbirth scene in “Kalimannu” kicks up row. Speaker of the Assembly G Karthikeyan raked up the issue recently. Speaking at a function in Alappuzha, Karthikeyan questioned why women organisations, which protest indecent portrayal of women in advertisements, are silent on the “delivery that was filmed live for a movie.”
“Giving birth is the most private and sacred moment of a woman’s life and shooting it for a film is commercial exploitation. The concept that anything is saleable is western. The society should decide whether the film will be screened or not,’’ Karthikeyan said.
Despite the criticism from unexpected quarters, Menon maintained that she hasn’t done anything wrong. “One person’s ethics need not be acceptable to another. Not accepting another person’s ethics does not make one a lesser person or his/her belief a smaller one,” she said. “The scene was an unavoidable part of the film and a serious filmmaker like Blessy did not include it to exploit the commercial aspect.”
“A man should be present with his wife at the time of delivery. Then only he can realise the greatness of womanhood and motherhood,’’ she argued.
Several personalities in the fileds of media, arts and literature like Sashikumar, Kanayi Kunhiraman, Parvahty and Khadeeja Mumtaz have stood by Menon. They said the attack on her and the director is an attempt to impose a “moral censorship on creative thinking.”